The most famous monument in Mumbai – the Gateway of India – is the first thing visitors see if they arrive by boat. Built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the 1911 visit of King George V and Queen Mary, monarchs of the British Empire, which included India, the Gateway sports four turrets and intricate latticework carved into yellow basalt stone. Ironically, when British rule ended in 1947, the colonial symbol became a sort of epitaph – the last of the British ships that set sail for England left through the Gateway. Today, this symbol of colonialism has been "Indianized," drawing droves of sightseers and local citizens. Behind the arch, steps lead down to the water. Here, you can embark on little motor launches for a short cruise through Mumbai's splendid natural harbor.
I ate one of the best fish and chips meals ever at Mumbai's Taj Mahal Hotel on Apollo Bunder Road, at the famous Sea Lounge cafe. The all-day diner offers scenic views of the Mumbai harbor and the historical Gateway of India. Bright lighting, wooden flooring and high ceilings add to the refreshing atmosphere.
The crispy, fried fillets of White Pomfret fresh from the Arabian Sea are served with delicious golden-brown chips. The tartar sauce and freshly squeezed lemon juice on the fish fillets make it a treat any hour of the day. As you create this dish in your kitchens, think of Mumbai, on the Konkan coast of Western India.
Fried Fillets of White Pomfret
1 medium-sized pomfret (or
other white fish) cut into two
2 teaspoons lime juice
Salt, pepper and mustard pow-
der to taste
2 tablespoons flour
Water, as needed
Fresh, plain breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
Wash fish fillets. Mix lime juice, salt, pepper and mustard powder. Marinate fish in lime mixture for 10 minutes. Beat egg, add flour, more salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Add a little water and mix to thick batter. Dip fillets in batter for a few seconds and roll in breadcrumbs. Deep-fry in hot oil until done. Serve with tartar sauce and french fries or garlic bread or hot bread.
Gitika Baveja, a high-tech worker who cooks Indian cuisine, recently published her first cookbook, "Indian Flavors to Savor." For more recipes, see Baveja's cookbook at www.flavorstosavor.com.